"Mariages!" does exactly what the title of the film promises- it dissects marriage and all of its background psychology, in all its variations. A French family gathers at their lovely country retreat for the upcoming wedding of Johanna(Chloe Lambert) and Benjamin(Alexis Loret). As usual, the mother of the bride is going to painstaking lengths to make sure everything runs smooth and unforgettable, but the guests-or rather,their relationships-are not easy to tame. The relaxed country setting unleashes a series of marital conflicts that turn into physical conflicts, open cheating and ex-husbands with new foreign wives in tow. Ben's best man Alex (Jean Doujardin) manages to lose the wedding rings at the wild bachelor party the night before and finds that his wife is cheating on him. In the sight of all this, the young couple hesitates about their wows but in the end, they manage to find back to each other and go through with the wedding after all.
Director Valerie Guignabodet gives you all your French stereotypes in a sunny, shiny packing: a plush country house, beautiful, lustful, women, attractive men with macho attitudes and a lot of good wine to fuel the conflicts. And there's even a trans-channel stereotype present- what would be a wedding without an English lady with a huge hat? But unlike in an another postcard-y flick, "Under the Tuscan Sun", her characters go a little bit beyond caricatures, towards conversation drama. Apart from a few visually strong moments(like Johanna's dive in her wedding gown), all the tension and action relies on the text. The director's biggest success with this film is that, at least for a moment, you feel like a member of that huge,noisy and complex French family. And it makes you feel good.